Tag Archives | International Relations

Peace Activist And World Passport Creator Garry Davis Dies

garry davisA man born before his time? The Los Angeles Times writes:

Gary Davis, who registered himself and more than 950,000 others as “world citizens,” was an activist who founded the World Government of World Citizens, which issues its own “world passports,” visas, birth certificates and other documents in an effort to rise above national borders and the conflicts they breed.

Sometimes the documents work and sometimes they don’t — Davis was jailed at least 32 times — but his broader aim was to draw attention to what he saw as the violent lunacy of nationalism.

“Contrary to most people in the world who want to make world peace and who say that love is the answer, he realized the answer is political,” said his son Troy. “It’s not just love your neighbor. You have to change the system.”

Arthur Kanegis, a San Diego filmmaker who has a documentary about Davis in production, said, “He used to say: ‘The World Passport is a joke — but so are all the other passports.

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Reporters Covering VP Biden In China Are Shoved Out

BidenpetraeusHow do you clear a room full of press in China? Give Joe Biden a chance to speak. Only minutes after Vice President Biden’s speech, Chinese officials were directing journalists toward the exits. Los Angeles Times reports:

Vice President Joe Biden’s famously loquacious style has now become the source of some international tension.

At the senior levels, the American and Chinese delegations actually seem to be getting along quite well. But relations between the press and staff traveling with the vice president and Chinese officials guarding access to the leaders are another story entirely.

Biden’s schedule Thursday, his first full day in China, included two bilateral meetings with Chinese Vice President Xi Jingping. American and Chinese press were to be allowed in to hear the opening remarks at the start of the first, expanded meeting.

At least that was the plan.

Xi spoke first, calling Biden’s visit a “major event” in the U.S.-China relationship and expressing his desire to work with America “to promote development of relations between our great nations.”

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HRW: All Sides In Somalia War Guilty Of Crimes

Photo: Abdurrahman Warsameh/International Relations and Security Network (CC)

Mass burial for those killed during Mogadishu infighting. Photo: Abdurrahman Warsameh/International Relations and Security Network (CC)

Where there is conflict there is someone to point the finger. Human Rights Watch have decided that everyone is ‘guilty’. Via AFP:

All the parties to Somalia’s conflict have violated the rules of war and are guilty of causing civilian casualties in the fight for territorial control, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

Somali government forces backed by troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have fought bloody battles in the capital Mogadishu with the Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab rebels who want to topple the administration.

“All sides have used artillery in the capital Mogadishu in an unlawful manner that has caused civilian casualties,” the rights group said in a report.

“Al-Shebab has fired mortars indiscriminately from densely populated areas and the TFG (government) and AMISOM forces have often responded in kind with indiscriminate counterattacks.

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UN Asks The World To Put An End To AIDS By 2020

AIDSUNWith numerous research groups inching closer to a cure for AIDS, the United Nations asks that leaders throughout the world end the pandemic by 2020. While one of the largest problems in the spread of AIDS is the lack of knowledge about the disease and access to treatment in certain areas, there is also a lack of funding to facilities that are on a progressive path towards a cure, but are stopped because of finances. The Christian Post reports:

World leaders must do everything in their power to end the AIDS pandemic by 2020, the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said at the U.N. Summit on AIDS in New York.

“Today, we gather to end AIDS,” Ban said as the United Nations General Assembly opened on Wednesday.

The three-day summit is being held as the world marks the 30th anniversary since HIV was first discovered. Ban told delegates gathered from across the world that AIDS must end: “That is our goal – zero new infections, zero stigma and zero AIDS-related deaths.”

Ban urged: “If we are to relegate AIDS to the history books we must be bold.

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Obama Presents Mideast Peace Vision To Arab World

Photo: Elizabeth Cromwell (CC)

Photo: Elizabeth Cromwell (CC)

Via Reuters:

President Barack Obama on Thursday backed a key Palestinian demand on the borders of a future state with Israel as part of his vision for a Middle East peace deal and sought to shape political change convulsing the region.

Obama’s proposal — a policy shift that effectively calls for a negotiated Israeli pullback to 1967 borders that existed before it occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem — drew a swift rejection from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the eve of his Washington visit.

The president’s first public endorsement of the idea — in laying out his most detailed framework yet for an elusive peace deal — came in a much-anticipated “Arab spring” address aimed at recasting the U.S. response to upheaval sweeping the Arab world.

“At a time when the people of the Middle East and North Africa are casting off the burdens of the past, the drive for a lasting peace that ends the conflict and resolves all claims is more urgent that ever,” Obama told an audience of U.S.

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China Offers To Buy Greek Debt

China's Permier Wen Jiabao

China has offered to buy Greek bonds to show support for international relations. It’s nice to see China helping out after obtaining the position of the second largest economy. The China Post reports:

China offered on Saturday to buy Greek government bonds when Athens resumes issuing, in a show of support for the country whose debt burden pushed the eurozone into crisis and required an international bailout.

Premier Wen Jiabao made the offer at the start of a two-day visit to Greece, his first stop on a tour of Europe, and also said he wanted to boost shipping and trade ties with Athens, underscoring Beijing’s use of economic strength to win friends.

“With its foreign exchange reserve, China has already bought and is holding Greek bonds and will keep a positive stance in participating and buying bonds that Greece will issue,” Wen said, speaking through an interpreter.

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Former Guantanamo Detainee Running For Office in Afghanistan

What do detainees do when they’ve been released from Guantanamo? Well, Izatullah Nusrat decided to run for office. What would it mean for Afghan-American relations if Nusrat wins? WGBH News reports:

Izatullah Nusrat, 42, was held at the U.S. facility in Guantanamo for nearly five years. Now he is back in Afghanistan and running for election to Parliament in the Sept. 18 election. Nusrat has harsh words for Americans, but he favors working with the current government over the Taliban and says he wants the fighting to stop.

So far, not many clear themes have emerged in the campaign for the Sept. 18 parliamentary elections.

But one candidate has an interesting distinction: He is the only former Guantanamo detainee running for office.

Anti-American, Anti-Karzai Sentiment

Campaigning is in full swing, but that’s not what is bringing people into the streets these days in Kabul. Anti-American sentiment is strong in Afghanistan, particularly among people outraged over recent incidents in which civilians have been injured and killed.

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